“The Only Answer to Life is More of Life”…

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Dear Reader:

As our wonderful winter get-away….starts literally “getting away” from us…I thought I would send some pictures ahead to pave the path for more stories to come.

Don’t you love the title message? …*The only answer to life is more of lifeWe have to be adventuresome and get out there and live it….even if we make mistakes. Wrong choices just help us realize what we don’t want…and then it steers us along the path of right choices…and growth.

Madeleine L’Engle used the *quote in one of her devotionals and it immediately connected with another anecdote I just heard a few days earlier….that went like this.

“The Road to Holiness”  (Sermons.com)

A seeker after truth came to a saint for guidance.
“Tell me, wise one, how did you become holy?”
“Two words.”
“And what are they, please?”
“Right choices.”
The seeker was fascinated. “How does one learn to choose rightly?”
“One word.”
“One word! May I have it, please?” the seeker asked.
The seeker was thrilled. “How does one grow?”
“Two words.”
“What are they, pray tell?”
“Wrong choices.”

In both cases…we are being told that the only way to understand life is to live it. So if we make our daily routine too “routine” we deny ourselves the opportunity to grow in our understanding of the universe and our place in it. God wants to see us continuously growing…to become spiritual “lifetime learners.”

If I had not left my precious Eva Cate (for three short days) back in the summer of 2010 to go to the mountains with Honey and Mike…I never would have discovered St. Jude’s Chapel of Hope, never would have started the blog…and this life-altering event that has supported and sustained me through my health issues…would not be there for me today. You, loyal readers, would not be there for me…because I would have gone down another path. All because I was too consumed with my new routine.

This is true of the friendship that cements four gals from Erskine College who met as freshmen and decades later…are still there for each other. No matter what is going on in our daily routine…we break it, immediately, for each other. Thus…the winter retreat.


I will just hit the ‘tip of the iceberg’ today with some pictures (more to come)…but this year our friendship circle came to include two more generations.

* And speaking of “icebergs” look at this fountain we saw Friday night on our way to visit Betsy’s place on Pawleys…and the frozen vegetation outside the beach home.

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Yesterday’s blog showed four trees I have planted for the grandchildren to serve as a perimeter for the garden…. Now here are the four Ya’s….and we all form a perimeter around each other.

This year we were so excited that Betsy, Libby’s daughter, could join us…the next generation of Ya’s…she added so much spark to the retreat.






Betsy again wants to thank all of you blog readers for your prayers….because she is starting a new job Monday and feels like she is getting her life back again….from the earlier heart problems. Our “It’s All Good” girl is back!

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Our home since last Wednesday…photo 2

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Betsy’s family….her two adorable girls, Hailey and Rebecca, came over Saturday…a future generation of Ya’s in the making.

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photoIt was Betsy who suggested we go explore the island…especially the historic section including the old Tip Top Inn. (Unfortunately Hurricane Hugo, in 1989, carried it off)…but it couldn’t carry away the stories that lasted over four decades when Robert (Seth) Dingle and his wife Lorraine ran this popular inn.


In one article I read from a book of Libby’s on the history of Pawleys Island…it said that “Mammy and Pappy Dingle had a big clock on the wall that had no numbers…a former guest remembered. There was a sign under the clock that said…Who Cares?”

And isn’t that way we are supposed to live life? Not enslaved to a clock to send us scurrying back to our ” same old…same old…normal routine” but to adventure out into the world ….both taking and giving back our talents to it… always learning and sharing.

We discovered something interesting about the Tip Top Inn and where some articles inside the inn …ended up after Hugo passed on. It will have to wait until tomorrow.

I think the best way to conclude this part of our adventurous retreat is in some bracelets we all bought to wear to Jackson’s niece’s wedding and to seal our friendship.

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Inside there was a message that read:

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So until tomorrow…Father…keep reminding us to go live life to the fullest every single day….”Who Cares” about time if we are following You down the path You created for us.

“Today is my favorite day”   Winnie the Pooh

* It was so wonderful to see mother and daughter (Libby and Betsy) looking so wonderful in the aftermath of a scary health crisis (Betsy has endured) only a few weeks ago….


 * Some of you might have seen the other good news (thanks to your prayers)…Rudy’s tumor was not malignant and Tommy and Kaitlyn met Kaitlyn’s dad, Butch, halfway to pick him up….Atticus was so happy to have his ‘big bro’ back!









About Becky Dingle

I was born a Tarheel but ended up a Sandlapper. My grandparents were cotton farmers in Laurens, South Carolina and it was in my grandmother’s house that my love of storytelling began beside an old Franklin stove. When I graduated from Laurens High School, I attended Erskine College (Due West of what?) and would later get my Masters Degree in Education/Social Studies from Charleston Southern. I am presently an adjunct professor/clinical supervisor at CSU and have also taught at the College of Charleston. For 28 years I taught Social Studies through storytelling. My philosophy matched Rudyard Kipling’s quote: “If history were taught in the form of stories, it would never be forgotten.” Today I still spread this message through workshops and presentations throughout the state. The secret of success in teaching social studies is always in the story. I want to keep learning and being surprised by life…it is the greatest teacher. Like Kermit said, “When you’re green you grow, when you’re ripe you rot.”
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1 Response to “The Only Answer to Life is More of Life”…

  1. Sis Kinney says:

    Good morning from Virginia – my adopted “home” state (I lived here longer than ANY other place – 22 years). I’ve been feeling sort of “blue” and “down in the mouth” b/c this is like the 4th or 5th Sunday that I haven’t gotten to church; that affects me b/c I love my church and deeply miss my church family from Summerville. Even though we’ve been in the mountains for a year and a half and found a wonderful church nearby (HA! 35 mins. away), I’ve not gotten involved with many of the activities that that church has to offer simply b/c it’s such a long drive. Anyway, I continue with my daily devotions from the pamphlet “Forward Day by Day” whether I get to church or not and today’s message from the February author (Ann Rose – who retired from English and Humanities at Miami Dade College) really hit me. I want to share it with you; it’s long, but well worth the read:

    “Psalm 25:6 Remember me according to your love.
    I remember many people in my past with gratitude and warmth. Others—not so much. When certain names cross my mind, my brain sticks them into categories before I am conscious this is happening: negative categories like hurtful, elitist, hypocritical, superficial.
    I was pondering the way we categorize people without knowing their stories as I watched the film Joy Luck Club with my literature class. The movie, like the book, is a powerful reminder that when we learn people’s stories, their behavior is more understandable. Instead of remembering them by their frailties and blunders, we might remember at least some of them as doing the best they knew how to do. We might feel more forgiving of the fallible people in our lives.
    I’m relieved that God remembers me according to God’s love—not according to all the failures I’ve accumulated. God could look at me and recall the myriad times of insensitivity, self-absorption, manipulation, and hypocrisy in my life. But instead, God looks at me—at us—through a filter of love. I would like to do a better job of remembering other people through a filter of love as well.”

    Isn’t that powerful? The part about not knowing other people’s “stories” made me immediately think of YOU and your storytelling. People’s stories really DO tell us about them! That’s why they are SO important in teaching history; you cannot fully understand anyone w/o knowing their story and their background, b/c that’s what makes them THEM.

    Anyway, it just made me think of you and how grateful – how truly grateful – I am for knowing you and becoming a devotee of your blog. It, too, is a part of MY daily devotions! I’m just sad that I didn’t get to know you better when I was still teaching; I am POSITIVE that I could have learned much, much more from your storytelling style than any Staff Development I may have been offered!

    So, from the northern-most southern state, – (Or is Maryland considered a southern state? I don’t believe so.) – my wish for you today is that you and your Ya’s enjoy your last moments together for this retreat and that everyone’s day is blessed with wonderful happenings to add to each of YOUR stories.


    PS – Sorry I am so verbose; I can really get carried away sometimes.


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